|Conceptualising Globalisation and Civil Society in Nigeria
Dept. of Political Science
Lagos State University
The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) of Nigeria have done a lot in the expansion of the democratic space, in the struggle against militarism and military rule and in the campaign for Human rights. These struggles in a fundamental way tie into a globalised logic of democracy and democratisation. The claim is to universalise rather than culturalise issues that define the human essence. This claim goes back to fundamental assumptions in social theory and Political philosophy.
My attempt in this paper is three-fold. First, I will conceptualise the nature of globalisation and its Afrocentric implications. I will contend that globlalisation has been defined not by the logic of Afrocentricity but by an essentialist definition of democracy which strips it of its social and cultural attributes.
Second, I will contend that civil society movements in Nigeria embarked on the struggles for rights in the context of the struggle against militarism and a return to civil rule. I will argue that the struggle for Human Rights and democracy simultaneously empowered as well as disempowered the CSOs involved in those struggles. This is so because the fundamental
question posed was whose agenda should the civil society groups pursue in Nigeria-the agenda of the people or of donors?
Third, I will argue that in the era of civil rule and post-post cold war, the globalised regime of democracy and Human Rights has a teleological view of what forms of government and civil society should be in place.
Donor agencies that sustain these civil society groups also have a notion of what forms of struggles they expect of CSOs in the current era. The goal is to get them to share in a universalised notion of democracy. What challenges do this notion of CSOs and their bases of struggle pose for the Nigerian CSOs?
COLONIALISM, DEVELOPMENT PATH, GLOBALISATION AND SOCIAL INEQUALITY: THE SOURCES OF SOCIAL (ETHNIC) CONFLICT IN NIGERIA.
PROF. DEJO A. ABDULRAHMAN
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY
USMANU DANFODIYO UNIVERSITY
It is a truism that Nigeria is a pluri-ethnic and multi-religious society. It is also well known that all the attempts to weld together the various nationalities and forge a common Nigerian identity have proved unsuccessful. The failure to achieve national integration is clearly manifested in the spate of ethno-religious violence, political instability, social unrests, complaints of marginalisation, etc, which the country has witnessed in the last twenty-five years; in other words, for its crisis of national development. Many reasons have been adduced for this crisis situation. They include the forcible incorporation of incompatible groups, elite rivalry or competition for power and positions, leadership poverty and democratization and restructuring.
This paper adopts a comprehensive (i.e. historical and global) approach to the understanding of the emergence and persistence of ethnicity and ethnic violence in Nigeria. It examines the key ideas of the prevailing explanations of ethnic conflicts. It then analyses how colonialism, the path of development adopted by post-colonial elites and the impact of globalisation have produced not only increasing poverty but also intolerable inequalities between different socio-political and economic groups, especially between the rural and urban areas and between different geo-political regions in the country.
The paper documents the various dimensions of inequality and argues that inequality produces a sense of relative deprivation and a perception of injustice which in turn result in anger and frustration. The greater the feeling of deprivation, the greater the intensity of strife and violence. Thus, the seemingly uncontrollable rural-urban drift, the deterioration of life in the urban areas, the fierce competition for the control of state, the manipulation of ethnic and religious identities, the clamour for resource control and the convocation of a sovereign national conference – all these can be seen as protest against perceived inequality and injustice and the failure of the state to generate inclusive growth and development. The paper concludes with some recommendations on the way forward.
"Ours is Ours but Mine is Mine? Reflections on Identity Politics and the forging of a National Literature"
The emergence of states in Africa in the post-colonial era created an anomalous situation for defining what constitutes national literature. Because different nations came together to form states, foreign languages - English, French, and Portuguese - became lingua franca in post colonial Africa. In Nigeria, as in other African nations which do not have a homogenous, national language, the pull towards individualism, towards primordial instincts, is getting stronger. People interpret policies and actions of Government as coming from ‘others’ because they are 'different', because they possess a different linguistic and cultural identity. This leads to the question of whether we can regard any literary work produced by Nigerian writers as belonging in or to an ethnic group, or whether they are part of national literature now or in the future. At the drop of a hat, ethnic groups play up the factors that divide them rather than stress unifying factors. Does writing in English abolish Urhobo Literature, or Igbo Literature or Yoruba Literature? If language use is part of identity creation, how do we face up to the challenges of globalisation and identity politics, communicating in a foreign language? This paper examines these issues and makes suggestions on how and why a national literature is imperative.
Hope Eghagha (PhD)
Department of English,
University of Lagos,
Globalisation, Identity Politics and Social Conflict (GIPSC) Project:
"Ethnicity, text and discourse analysis"
Lagos 14-16 April 2003.
Special workshop/ symposium by E. U. Consortium.
Conflictual border identities in Europe and Africa
National borders tend to confirm symbolically and materially the Existence of separate nation states. In the last century, the redrawing and/or dissolution of national borders, be it as a result of power politics, conflict or through consensus, has been a crucial determining factor for the definition of old and new nation-states all over the world, dramatically affecting the political map of Post-World War II Europe and post-colonial Africa. In Europe, nation states have often built on racial ethnic, or linguistic 'foundation myths' of unity and singularity ('one nation, one language', 'one nation, one people'), ignoring the multicultural realities of life within them. In Africa, Western powers ignored existing - ethnic, linguistic, religious affinities- between groups of people, imposing artificial zones of influence which ignored socio-cultural realities. The definitions and redefinitions of national borders have produced ongoing conflicts, resulting in wars, ethnic cleansing, or the mass movement of refugees, and they continue to be at the heart of current and potential future difficulties. In contemporary Europe as well as in parts of Africa, transnational formations such as the European Union and in a more tentative form the Organisation of African Unity have arisen, with political and economic commitment to better collaboration and integration, (more) open borders, shared trade, and even in parts a shared currency. But attempts at more openness and better interrelations have been met with many resistances at various levels, at the highest political, but also at grass-root level. For the majority of the diverse people living in the relevant countries, transnational organisations have failed to inspire a shared sense of cultural identity. In the case of the EU, this has also led to new - albeit larger - boundaries which have created new forms of social exclusion (''Fortress'Europe).
The proposed workshop seeks to bring together European and African perspectives and to open up a discussion on commonalities and differences within the context of border politics and borderland identities. A team of scholars from 6 European institutions will present the results of a 3-year research project into the formation of cultural identities on the borders between the current EU and its new 'ascendant ' states to the east/south-east. In the centre of our project are the stories and very-day discourses of members from three-generation families who have spent their lives in communities affected by the redefinition of orders after the Second World War. Collecting and analysing these narratives with ethnographic and discourse analytical methods gave us important insights into the ways in which the shifting public worlds of politics, nationhood and ideology interact with the ways in which people position and imagine themselves. It also allowed us to understand some of the sources of continuing conflict reaching even those generations that were themselves not subject to the old causes of enmity. but who are nevertheless reconstructing historical divisions by continuing negative stereotyping, fears and hatred. We will also offer some suggestions as to how some of these conflicts might be tackled and possibly laid to rest by a better understanding of people's past and current social lives and interactions.
In three 30-minute papers we will first of all present some of the most important aspects of our research from the six sets of communities investigated on either side of the borders. These presentations will be followed by interventions from two respondents (Dr Omoniyi and Prof. Makoni) with expertise on the comparable or differing aspects of two African nations: Nigeria and South Africa. In the final panel discussion we hope to open up the debate to the Nigerian scholars and members of the audience in general.
Paper 1: Ulrike Hanna Meinhof, Heidi Armbruster
East-West border conflicts and identities in the post- 2nd World War
Europe: an overview of the Border Identities project
Paper 2: Doris Wastl-Walter, Emidio Sussi, Brigitte Hipfl
Shifting borders in Europe: Socio-political reality and peoples'
Paper 3: Werner Holly, Darisuz Galasinski, Brigitta Busch
Narratives of identity: discursive processes of identity construction in process
Coffee break (20 min)
Respondent: Tope Omoniyi: The Nigerian perspective
Respondent Sinfree Makoni: The South African perspective
Panel discussion (40min)
Resolving differences in Africa and Europe: borders and their legacies
School Education and Religious Communal Tensions in India, and Possible Analogues with Nigeria: Legislation, Policy and Curriculum
Suman Gupta (The Open University, U.K.) and Adil Mehdi (Jamia Milia Islamia University, India)
The exacerbation of religious communal tensions in Indian politics since the early 1990s has been evidenced, among other spheres, in the area of legislation and policy with regard to, and curriculum changes in, school education. Such tensions primarily pertain to relations between the two main religious communities in India, the dominant Hindus (82% of the population) and the largest minority Muslims (12.1%, which is over 110 million) – but have recently also extended to Christians (2.3%). Such tensions are also further complicated by considerations of caste and class divides. In the course of the 1990s, and especially since the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001, different aspects of school education in India have been and continue to be hotly debated. Chief among these are the following:
The perceived “saffronisation” (or attempts to inculcate fundamentalist Hindu religiosity) in schools, especially through discussions of curriculum changes (in the form of a necessity for “value education”) and by rewriting textbooks for national syllabi (particularly history textbooks);
Changes in legislation with regard to the prerogatives of school education (especially in the context of the recent Supreme Court sanction to “religious education” in state schools);
Discussions (mainly since 11 September 2001) of the need to modernise traditional Islamic schools (madrasahs) and, more importantly, to curtail their growth on the alleged ground that these encourage the growth of Muslim fundamentalism and militancy.
In this presentation the authors report on and analyse these developments in terms of background information about the school education system and financing mechanisms that exist in India. Particular attention is paid to the situation of madrasahs in India, and the recent discussions surrounding them.
The authors also attempt to find parallels in the above (which naturally entails a clear apprehension of differences too) with the manner in which religious communal tensions – complicated by the politics of ethnic divides – have impinged upon the area of school education in Nigeria. In Nigeria too religious communities (primarily the Christian, approximately 40%, and the Muslim, approximately 50%) have attempted to assert their interests in the face of a secular constitution (especially since the seventies), and all too often this has been manifested in the area of school education. With the recent assumption of Shari’a law in some Northern States in Nigeria there has been an exacerbation of religious communal tensions. How such tensions have spilled over to the area of school education are considered briefly in this presentation, in the light of broadly similar concerns to be found in the prevailing Indian situation.
‘NATIONS WITHOUT STATES:’ STATES, GLOBALIZATION, AND IDENTITY CONFLICTS
Mohammad J. Kuna
Head, Department of Sociology
Usmanu Danfodiyo University
Although there is a growing and significant body of literature on the various dimensions of globalization and its impact on states and societies, most of this literature appears to be caught up in the unhelpful categorizations proposed by the proponents and opponents of the global process. There is no doubt that some of the literature has illuminated the changing nature and form of political communities in an increasingly global context. Most interpretations however, overlook the interpenetration of the global and the local, and the way this dialectic is radically reconfiguring political communities especially in Third World countries. Thus though globalization has expanded the scale of integration of societies across cultures, we need to be remember that the power of the traditional nation-state as a territorially bounded political community exercising power over domestic and international arenas is being severely curtailed, and that state capabilities and legitimacy within national boundaries are increasingly challenged by sub-national groups and interests.
Proponents of globalization argue that international financial, cultural, technological and information networks have resulted in a greater degree of integration that is rendering the idea of the nation and other associated ideas dominant since the Treaty of Westphalia passé. Thus states are moving towards greater integration and a more cosmopolitan and deterritorialized new world order, which for many heralds the beginning of a more peaceful world in which age-old barriers of identity and intergroup conflicts are being superceded by a larger world community. Opponents of globalization argue that on the contrary, one of the most significant things about globalization is its reinforcement of particularistic identities. Rather than loosen territorial and social boundaries, globalization is in fact rigidifying them. By creating and / or reinforcing ethnic, religious, political and other boundaries, it has generated intense and deadly conflicts that have served to strengthen Third World states.
This paper interrogates the concept of globalization by confronting it with the resurgence of particularistic identities as reflected in the many deadly conflicts in the Third World in general, and Nigeria in particular since the early 1980s. It argues that conceptualizing globalization in these polar lenses makes it difficult for us to see what some have referred to as the ‘dialectic of flow and closure:’ that is, that the ‘integration’ masks a deeper process of fragmentation. Both general processes are at the very heart of the more specific process of the reconfiguration of many Third World states, as is the attempt by various sub-national groups to expand their political and economic spaces – sometimes within and sometimes outside of national boundaries. In effect what we are seeing is no less a process of the reinvention of states on the basis of ideals and projects radically different from those on which they were established by colonialism. The national ideologies that formed the basis of these states have either collapsed, or no longer serve as potent legitimating principles. With the weakening of the states’ mobilizational capacity, a collapsing social infrastructure, heightened levels of economic and social disparities between groups, and the absence of mobilizing ‘masterframes,’ sub-national identities are fast becoming significant ideological reference frames and platforms for political action. The many nations that have been constituents of colonial and postcolonial states are today re-examining the nature and form of that constitution. It is the attempt to re-configure these social and political spaces, and the resistance it generates from traditional states that is at the centre of so many of the conflicts of identity in postcolonies. This is the subject of the paper with reference to Nigeria.
Community, Nation and International Politics: The Discursive Construction of Identity in a Contested Space - The Bakassi Peninsula.
Tope Omoniyi, University of Surrey Roehampton and Dipo Salami, Obafemi Awolowo University.
This is an investigation of the discursive construction of identity in a contested space. The Bakassi Penninsula has been the subject of international conflict between the Republics of Cameroon and Nigeria with the International Court of Justice at The Hague ruling in favour of the former in November 2002. We shall argue that this contested space hosts multiple identities at international, national and local levels of discourse. While language, social and cultural practices may serve as the basis for defining membership within the local paradigm, economics, oil politics and colonial history are obviously significant factors within the national and international paradigms of identification. These differences of variables invoked between paradigms are at the core of conflict. Our objective here is to examine identity and identification processes and procedures both in conflict and conflict resolution with specific reference to the Bakassi Peninsula and to develop a theoretical model that could inform decisions on ownership by arbitrating institutions such as the ICJ.
The study, which is conceived within the framework of discourse-historical analysis (Wodak, 2000, Rei and Wodak , forthcoming), examines the ICJ judgement against selected texts from Nigerian and Cameroon media as well as those of selected individual actors. The questions the study seeks to answer are:
How is sovereignty/identity defined by both institutional (ICJ and governments) and individual actors involved?
What criterion/a or label(s) is/are used in the definition? (e.g. ethnicity, mother tongue, cultural rites etc)
Is/Are this/these label(s) ideologically-loaded?
What is/are the ideology(ies)?
What are the historical backgrounds to these ‘ideologies’
How are they embedded in language use (e.g by ICJ, Nigerian Cameroon media and politicians and chiefs in Bakassi)?
MASS MEDIA AND THE POLITICS OF MARGINALISATION IN NIGERIA
Dept. of Mass Communication,
University of Lagos.
A topical issue in the Mass Media since the restoration of civil rule in the country on May 29, 1999 has been the issue of marginalization.
The issue has assumed not only a worsening and ridiculous dimension, but also, a frightening dimension, occasioned by the emergence of ethnic militia, chanting war songs. It is also instructive to note that each of the six geo-political zones in the country claimed to have been marginalized in the scheme of things one way or the other.
Just as the issue of secession became a bargaining tool in the political arena in the 50s and 90s in the country, marginalization has suddenly become a major tool of political bargaining in the country today.
In the face of ethnic Colouration of the issue, what has been or what should be the role of the mass media in promoting healthy politicking such that every section of the country gets what is due to them without the shedding of blood?
This is the thrust of this paper. The paper attempts to identify marginalized groups, how the groups marginalization were legitimized, the reaction of the groups to their marginalization as well as how the mass media could help in finding a peaceful solution to the problem.
The study is carried out through Content Analysis of conducting research.
DEVELOPMENTAL CONFLICTS AND PROTESTS IN INDIA AND NIGERIA: THE NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN (NBA) AND THE MOVEMENT AGAINST CHEVRON TEXACO
Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Delhi, India.
This paper attempts a comparative study of a mass movement against a big dam project in India and women’s protests against oil companies in Nigeria. The former is the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) that has mobilised sections of the peasantry against the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) in Gujarat, western India. Its leaders such as Medha Patkar have an international profile and the NBA packs tremendous punch. It successfully lobbied for the cessation of World Bank funding for the SSP and has created an elite, internationalized coalition against big dams. Booker Prize winning author Arundhati Roy’s espousal of the NBA cause has added to the celebrity status of the movement. Yet the movement has failed to address some of the fundamental needs of local farmers and hence the Gujarat government has been able to press ahead with the SSP. The debate is between those who believe that all big dams are bad and those who aver that the SSP can be restructured for viable, sustainable development and that such development is necessary for the agricultural base of India. The paper will highlight this debate and its nuances between Roy and Gail Omvedt.
In Nigeria women of the Ugborodo and Arutan communities took over the Chevron Texaco Escravos oil terminal and four of its flow stations in the Niger Delta in June/July 2002. Nigeria is the sixth largest oil producer and Chevron Texaco a major multinational player in the generation of over $280 million over the last 30 years. The abundance of oil has not, however, translated into social capital for the local inhabitants. Ken Saro-Wiwa’s legendary battle against Shell and his subsequent execution in 1995 are well known. The protest of women from the Ijaw and Itskeri is less celebrated but equally stunning in its simplicity and desire for justice. The protesting women were aged between 30 and 90 and demanded jobs for their youth, electricity, schools and medical facilities in their villages. The women also demanded help in setting up chicken and fish farms. Chevron’s MOU with the Itskeri women promised all these. The paper will highlight the victories of these women and the complicity of local elites with oil corporations. It will also glance at the vexed question of the distribution of oil revenues within various communities in Nigeria and the paradox of poverty amongst the plenty generated by the oil corporations.
In India the developmental model opposed by the NBA is a legacy of Nehruvian planning and policy. The needful solution perhaps is to restructure rather than jettison completely the big dam model. In both India and Nigeria the protests are driven by a desire to enfranchise local communities, to secure justice combined with economic and social development. The NBA, however, seems far more elitist and has alienated some of the communities it is supposed to fighting for. In Nigeria’s context the multinational oil companies function as autonomous bodies and their intervention in local communities disrupts and often degrades environments and lifestyles. The interweaving of local identity politics with national/federal/state concerns further complicates the scenario. The NBA’s international stature and networking assails the autonomy and sovereignty of the state (both national and federal). It is this transnational identity and power that also alienates local power elites and communities, and is reflected in hostile media coverage. In Nigeria the oil corporations are more obviously transnational interlopers and sites of economic globalization and protest. The paper will examine the conflicts, debates, paradoxes, and particularities that certain modes of development and currents of globalization create in the Indian and Nigerian context.
Identity Politics and the indigenous Language Press: A case study of the Alaroye Publications.
Dr Abiodun Salawu
Dept of Mass Communication,
University of Lagos.
The paper would attempt to look at the coverage of Nigeria’s ethnic diversity and conflicts in Alaroye publications. By Alaroye publications, we refer to the news publications emanating from World Information Agents. They include Alaroye newspaper, Alaroye Magazine and Akede Agbaye. Since the colonial days, the various ethnic groups that make up the nation, Nigeria, have been dealing with &g! t; themselves with mutual suspicion and unhealthy rival. The quest for power and the exclusion from power have been major dynamite in the political troubles that have confronted the country. In diverse ways, the Nigerian press have been mirroring this. In other words, happenings in the society have impacted on the content and nature of the press; while, the press, in turn, as an agent of socialisation, have affected the society fulfilling, in this sense, its function as a tool in shaping news and opinions.
The ethnic identity of a Nigerian newspaper is determined by the ethnic identity of the publisher and the main market that the paper seeks to cultivate and patronise. Indigenous language newspapers are ethnic based newspapers which, of course, have primordial interests in the ethnic groups whose (indigenous) languages the news papers use. These newspapers can lead and modify the opinions of their peoples forming stereotypes for them about other ethnic groups; thereby fuelling further the social conflicts.
The proposed paper would consider Alaroye's extent and direction of coverage of ethnic oriented issues as well as the use of language (choice of words) in this regard.
ACTS OF IDENTITY:
THE ROLE OF LANGUAGE IN ACTUALIZING GLOBALIZATIONS
Christine I. Ofulue
Department of Language and Mass Communication
Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State
This world is fast becoming a global village, and language plays a significant role in the drive for inclusion into the global village. This paper examines the role(s) which language plays in paving the way for globalization within the current democratic dispensation in Nigeria. Since independence, the country has spent more years under military rule, a dispensation that was largely characterized by the language of dictatorship, and an atmosphere of isolation.
However, the recent rebirth of democracy in Nigeria has, in many ways than one opened the country up to investment from within and outside Africa, thus making way for globalization. The language of negotiation being used by the present post-military democratic dispensation in achieving their goals of benefiting maximally from the current globalization trends is a significant departure from the past.
A case study of President Obasanjo’s visit to South Africa and his language repertoire during the visit forms the data of this paper. Focus is on how language is used to negotiate, create, and establish ethnic and social identities within the framework of social interaction. A sociolinguistic approach is adopted and findings revealed that 1) there is a language of globalization with the goal of creating a positive Nigerian identity that will enhance the country’s image globally. It is characterized (in this context) by the use of several language codes (English, Yoruba, and Nigerian Pidgin) 2) Within the context, language functions as an identity indicator for membership into a group who share the same views on Nigeria’s repositioning drive. 3) It is a vehicle of negotiation with the ultimate goal of achieving cooperation amongst the stakeholders. 4) The language of globalization elicits a positive response from the stakeholders. 5) The radical departure from the language of dictatorship, which characterized the military era is an indication that language does determine how far the country can go in her efforts for inclusion in the global village.
THE POLITICS OF ‘MARGINALISATION’ IN NIGERIA: CHALLENGES OF THE 4TH REPUBLIC
R. I. Ako-Nai (Mrs)
Department of International Relations
Faculty of Administration
Obafemi Awolowo Unviersity
The core argument being advanced in this paper is that since indpendence in 1960, the Nigerian State has been plagued with various problems of which ethnicity, has been central. As a result of problems, of which ethnicity and religion have been prominent, the country has remain unstable and insecure, lending herself to ‘autocratic’ civilian and military rule despite the internal and global call for democratic governance, a call that has become more pronounced within the last two decades as a result of global development that favour democratic to autocratic rule.
Ethnic politics continue to be one of the dominant political parameters in the country. Ethnographers put the number of over 250 ethnic groups, with each having sub-units, making Nigeria diverse socio-cultural unit. According to Otitie (1976) the plural nature of the society makes it imperative that for nay social relations to work, it must take into account, many institutional variables. As a result of the plural nature of the society, it has been difficult to achieve and maintain growth and stable polity, as the leaders, civilian or military have perfected the act of ethnic politics in defiance of democratic principles for the interest of the masses.
Although Ake (1992) among others have commented that it is not impossible to have a stable polity in plural society. Nigerian is still pre-occupied with ethnic politics. This has continue to contradict the principle of democratic governance, accountability, free and fair elections. Democracy is a political system in which the eligible (electorate) in a country participate actively in the governance process for the common good. It underscores that there is no privilege class, freedom of discussion and association. Ethnic rivalry has debased these democratic principles, as more ethnic groups are coming up to make demands on the state.
Submitted for the Workshop on Identity Politics, Globalization and Social Conflict: Ethnic, Liteary and Socio-Linguistic Perspective.
IDENTITY POLITICS STRATEGIES AMONG OKO-OSANYIN SPEAKERS: A RESISTANC OF MARGINALIZATION THROUGH GLOBALIZATION
Department of Languages and Mass Communication
Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria.
Globalization is a metaphor for integration, and by implication, marginalization of the integrated group. It thus becomes an aphorism for dominant groups asserting their dominant identity and superiority while continuing the subjugation of smaller groups. Strong, big fishes swallow up smaller ones. While in some cases, the smaller fishes readily succumb to such integration and loss of identity, in others, a natural scenario for survival struggle by smaller groups, or at least a protest with the semantics and pragmatic connotation: Yes, the needle is small, but it cannot be swallowed by the hen.” This paper investigates identity politics among speakers of Oko-Osanyin, a small language and ethnic group in Kogi State. Spoken by about 50,000 people in Ogori and Magongo, this language has been a sociolinguistic paradox and enigma. It has maintained its distinct identity through skillful and adept identity politics, resistance of mainstreaming globalizing ploys by surrounding larger ethno-linguistic groups, and absolute refusal to be marginalized. The study reveals that the strategies for achieving this identity politics feat include:
Language promotion and revitalization
Power-brokering machinery (key figures used in fostering identity politics, indirectly to say we have a voice and can call the bluff)
Formal and informal educational efforts at revitalizing the threatened language
Ethnolinguistic ideologies: negotiable and non-negotiable identities.
I conclude, therefore, that in the context of small languages, globalization should be seen as a denial of individual identity, a thwarting of natural diversity, and a desecration of natural sociolinguistic ecology.
IDENTITY AND SOCIAL CONFLICT AS EXAMPLIFIED IN YORUBA CONTEMPORARY POETRY
ARINPE ADEJUMO (Ph. D)
DEPARTMENT OF LINGUSITIC AND NIGERIAN LANGUAGES
The Yorubla poets from the pre-colonial era till date are the voice of the people, hence, they hallow the mind of the people through their works. Since it is impossible for the poets to distance themselves from the happenings of their society they strive to mark out such a society, as a distinctive one irrespective of the subject matter. Issues relating to identity, social conflict and class struggle are inherent in political poetry. The ongoing ethnic group consciousness which is now the bane of the contemporary Nigerian society also features in these works. The thrust of this paper is to critically examine the poets’ views on the ethnic politics, cultural and conflicts within the micro and macro communities of Nigeria.
The findings of this paper are:
that the poets play a dual role in contributing to the ongoing tribal politics
that the poets highlights the people grievances against the government, and
they also arouse the awareness of the people on how to liberate themselves from oppression at all levels.
The paper posits that the poets will always be chauvinistic as long as the society is beleaguered with social conflict and cultural identity.
GLOBALIZATION AND THE SEARCH FOR CULTURAL PHILOSOPHY FOR AFRICA
ISAAC E. UKPOKOLO
DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN
The philosophy of globalization depicts and projects a universalistic conceptual framework underlying socio-economic and technological relevance. In concrete terms, it presents a worldwide drive towards an integrated economic system dominated by supranational corporate trade and banking institutions not accountable to democratic processes or national government. Yet, the need for a philosophy that is cultural-based and contextually determined for the African condition demands some resistance to the universalisability of frameworks of discourse, thought and action.
This paper, therefore, examines those indices or for consideration that would help the resolution of the seeming, dilemma this faces the African in the search for a cultural philosophy-some worldwide, underlying assumptions, suppositions, and general beliefs-that would guide the African mindset in the appreciation of reality.
'Amour bilingue/Love in two languages: disputing the
Dr David Richards
Director, The Ferguson Centre, The Open University, U.K.
The paper will discuss the representation of the postcolonial in the works of Jacques Derrida and writings derived from his work (Bhabha, Young et al.), and argue that in the figure of Derrida, the postcolonial subject has achieved significance as a hegemonic signifier of global cultural relations and inequalities. Nowhere, I will argue, is this more evident than in representations of Islamic culture in a new age of imperial stirrings. I will offer a counter perspective evident in the work of the Maghrebine novelist and philosopher Abdelkebir Khatibi, by juxtaposing deconstructive and postcolonial configurations of identity with Islamic tradition (particularly calligraphy), Sufism and linguistic translation. My aim will be to question 'universal' or 'global' theories of identity with a counter-discourse of cultural translation.
Identity Politics, Globalization and Socio-Political
Engineering in Nigeria
Prof. A. U. Iwara
Institute of African Studies
University of Ibadan
Up until 1966, that is, six years after Nigeria achieved independence, the voting pattern was mostly dictated by cultural affinity and ethnicity, as evidenced by the fact that the Northern Region was dominated by the Fulani-Hausa-led Northern People’s Congress (NPC), the Western Region by the Yoruba-led Action Group (AG), and the Eastern Region by the Igbo-led National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons (NCNC).
Then, for nearly thirty-three years, that is, until as recently as 1998, excluding, of course, the five brief years of civil rule of President Shehu Shagari from 1979 to 1983, the military seized the reins of power and sought to perpetuate itself in the country’s political system.
Meanwhile, from outside, globalization, in the form of colonial legacy, came along in the eighties as a “liberating” force opposed to military politics and its corruptive influences. Its pervasive impact was felt even more strongly in the nineties, as information technology turned the world into a global village and revolutionized people’s identity paradigms and played up Western political systems as models for Nigeria.
The military caved in, but post-military politics brought in its wake clumsy forms of identity politics that went from local and traditional alignments to global issues of human rights and obligations.
Today, Nigeria, in a socio-political flux characterized by mixed signals coming from an indigenous cultural heritage of ethnic alignments, on the one hand, and, on the other, a global force of colonial origin in favour of capitalism and democratic rule, is seeking a new socio-political arrangement based on conflict resolution and the reconciliation of the various cultural identities of its peoples. Will this socio-political engineering succeed? That is the question on the eve of national elections.